CANTON TOWNSHIP (KDKA) — A Washington County man is facing a long list of charges in connection with an alleged sledgehammer attack that sent a woman to the hospital with critical injuries.

According to State Police, 48-year-old Paul Helmick was arraigned Sunday on charges of criminal attempt homicide, aggravated assault, simple assault, burglary, harassment and criminal mischief.

Investigators say it happened just before noon at the victim’s apartment in Canton Township.

According to State Police, Helmick is accused of beating the door to the victim’s apartment open.

Authorities say the victim, identified by State Police as 51-year-old Lori Ann Phillips, was struck in the right side of the head with the sledgehammer.

Neighbors told KDKA-TV’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland that it appeared to them that Helmick believed she was possibly inside the apartment with someone else at the time he showed up.

According to neighbors, Phillips’ daughter ran across the hall for help and a neighbor called 911.

Phillips was taken to a Pittsburgh-area hospital for treatment. She is reportedly in critical condition with what authorities are describing as a fractured skull.

Helmick was arrested, arraigned and was being held in the Washington County Jail in lieu of $250,000 cash bond.

Pennsylvania State Police
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